Sometimes stuff swept under the carpet makes its way out no matter how hard the broom is wielded, and so it is with Able Danger, the pre 9/11 program on data mining which popped back in the news when we learned that the Department of Defense had bought and destroyed almost 10,000 copies of a book which described the program. Andrew McCarthy writes on NRO:
Five years ago, I called for an investigation of "Able Danger" and the 9/11 Commission. Able Danger was a military intelligence program members of which have stated that the program identified Mohammed Atta (and perhaps other 9/11 hijackers) long before the 9/11 attacks - directly contradicting the 9/11 Commission's conclusion that the government was unaware of Atta before he struck. The 9/11 Commission knew about Able Danger but did not include any information about it from the commission's ballyhooed Final Report. The Defense Department, meanwhile, purged goo-gobs of Able Danger documents. The whole thing was handled in what I'll charitably call a most peculiar manner. And I'm not the only one who thought so - former FBI director Louie Freeh said as much in a 2005 op-ed that is quoted at length in my NRO essay. ...
There has never been any appetite to pursue this story. Like the strange matter of Sandy Berger's filching of classified documents regarding the Clinton administration's counterterrorism preparedness, it has been ignored. I'm glad Fox is on the not case, even if I'm not holding my breath that we'll actually get to the bottom of it.
Does Andy suggest obliquely that the Berger and Able Danger stories are somehow related?
I think that's not a farfetched possibility. At the heart of both is the the 9/11 Commission, efforts to keep critical information from it, and a clear interest on the part of those who know the truth to hide it from us.